Easter

Easter
Lily in Autumn

Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris

Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris
This is a story of Jack the Ripper with at Twist!

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name
This is the first of a trilogy retelling the true story of the infamous countess as a youn adult novel. History is not always what it seems.

Wild Horse Runs Free

Wild Horse Runs Free
A Historical Novel by Ellen Tsagaris

With Love From Tin Lizzie

With Love From Tin Lizzie
Metal Heads, Metal Dolls, Mechanical Dolls and Automatons

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The Legend of Tugfest

The Legend of Tugfest
Dr. E is the Editor and A Contributor; proceeds to aid the Buffalo Bill Museum

Emma

Emma

Like My Spider

Like My Spider
It's Halloween!

Moth

Moth
Our Friend

Little Girl with Doll

Little Girl with Doll
16th C. Doll

A Jury of her Peeps

A Jury of her Peeps
"Peep Show" shadow box

Crowded Conditions

Crowded Conditions

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Opie Cat's Ancestors

Opie Cat's Ancestors
Current Cat still Sleeps on Victorian Doll Bed with Dolls!

First Thanksgiving Dinner

First Thanksgiving Dinner
Included goose and swan on the menu!

Autumn Still Life

Autumn Still Life
public domain

Boadicea

Boadicea
The Original Bodacious Woman

Angel Monument

Angel Monument

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Kiowa Doll

Kiowa Doll

Sketch of children playing

Sketch of children playing
Courtesy, British Museum

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Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

A Goddess

A Goddess

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

An Upcycling Doll Artist

Profile of doll artist Debbie Ritter, Uneek Doll Designs at Etsy.com I met Debbie after finding one of her dolls featured on a blog about Lady Jane Grey. I couldn’t wait to buy the doll, and soon bought others, including the portrait of writer Barbara Pym, featured on my blog Miss Barbara Pym meets Miss Charlotte Bronte. Debbie is a transplanted Hoosier to Alabama as of summer 2013 with four grown children and one grandchild. She has been married 25 years. Besides making dolls, her interests include reading, walking, art work, and cooking (when she has time!) Debbie is a born artist, and as she says of herself; “I grew up with a pencil in hand and carried paper everywhere I went- got in trouble a few times with teachers for drawing on my homework, and art was my best subject in school.” Debbie does not collect dolls per se, but likes to create them as a favorite art form. A doll house kit first inspired her miniature creations: “I got inspired to create my art dolls when my husband was given a dollhouse kit by my mom, who despaired of my father ever putting it together. Being the tooling engineer that he was, he put it together and I decided to make some dolls to go in it out of clothespins. She loved it so I continued and I made up my own technique and developed it over time.” I can really relate to Debbie over dollhouses and the need to populate them. My dad was an electrical engineer who built one fantastic dollhouse for me from scratch, and another from a kit. He is an electrical engineer, and it seemed to take forever. He didn’t electrify my houses, and when I asked him why, Dad answered, “We’re Victorian.” Debbie’s dollhouse adventures began a chain of thinking; she decided to combine her love of classic literature, history, and the observation of ordinary people into creating her art work. Debbie finds people in general inspiring because if you study someone long enough, you will see some features that stand out. It is those features challenge her. She started selling her creations when by chance a lady waiting on her at the craft store mentioned Etsy. Debbie wrote the word down and forgot about it for 2 months, then decided to take the plunge to see what would happen. The rest is history and she has been doing well at it ever since. The artist’s work has been featured at “The Today Show” where the crew gave Susan Boyle a replica of herself that Debbie had made during a live interview between Boyle Meredith Viera. . Debbie’s work has also been featured in Vanity Fair online, The Art Doll Quarterly, Doll Collector Magazine, New York Magazine, -Show Time series on television, -Mystery Scene Magazine, New York Magazine, CI Living in Champaign Illinois, and my blogs Dr.Es’s Doll Museum, Dr. E’s Greening Tips for the Common Person, An Apologia for Countess Erzebet Bathory, and Memoir; Writing your Life Story. She can be reached through me or her Etsy store, uneekdolldesigns.etsy.com

Monday, February 24, 2014

Chocolate is Good For You!

Well, we knew it, didn't we? Monday, Monday, we can't trust it, but here is some good news from our colleague Nurse Nancy: This information is from the wonderful people at the Iowa Public Health Department. In order to put a more flavorful light on the subject of eating chocolate after Valentine’s Day, some research actually shows benefits for eating real chocolate. Nonfat cocoa solids in chocolate have high levels of “antioxidant flavonoids”, two words that even SOUND healthy. Benefits of eating chocolate may include: *Reduced heart disease *Decreased blood pressure *Increased insulin resistance *Improved arterial blood flow Just make sure it’s the good stuff. For more information, visit; www.webmd.com/diet/features/health-by-chocolate?page=2 Included are images of a chocolate skull, chocolate doll heads, and chocolate confections.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Green PotPourri

Oh, to be Spring! We are being inundated with more snow mixed with freezing rain. It was an amuseument park ride from hell this morning just driving from point A to B, with all sorts of wonderful hills and ice-covered bridges. Thank goodness Starbucks was there! I have a mixed bag today; started as the expert guide for about.com at the Doll Collecting site. Take a look, and share ideas, especially for handmade dolls and folk dolls. Doll making is all about recycling; just read about the dolls Ma made in The Little House books. Crafts, in general, are wonderful ways to recycle and use scraps, especially in assemblage and reclaimed art. On the health front, I have beeen drinking RAAW juices this week, and I notice a definite improvement with sinusitis symptoms, which I call Sylvia Plath's disease, since she sufferred terribly from it, too. Also, it helps with the gag reflex brought on by asthma, as does coffee. So far, I have tried Cranberry Ginger, Strawberry Purple Carrot, and Very Berry Wheatgrass. I am not a spokesperson for this product; I also drink many other juices, some homemade, some concentrate, Naked, some Aldi or Save a Lot brands, nectars, etc. I still love Hi-C Cherry when I can get it, too. But, this juice is 100%, and the fusion is similar to V-8, but more organic with no persevatives. The juice in Cranberry Ginger is made from 1 1/2 c. cranberries and 1 c. ginger root. At our local health food store, Greatest Grains, the juices are .30 less than at our local supermarket. They run about 2.50-3.29 for a 12 fl. oz bottle. There is zero fat and 1% sodium, and 110 calories. I picked up some free brochures and newsletters at Greatest Grains as well, including one for Dermale products for skincare, and a first issue for Women Sense: healthy women create a healthier world. Articles in this new paper include articles about low thyroid, a study that shows women aged 25-65 are the most stressed [really?} and studies about the risk of too much sitting. Common sense, and obvious, but they get your attention about things we know but take for granted and ignore. Also, an article in "Memory Pause" and weight loss tips, and finding peace for a good night's sleep. More original 49 tips will also be posted. So far, some of my articles on About.com include "Lincoln Dolls," "Estate Dolls," "Sherman Smith Doll Maker and Whittler," "A Doll Collector's Calendar," "Hinges and Hearts: Metal Dolls," "Automata" and "A Tribute to Shirley Temple." We had a reading on our metal doll project and exhibit which went very well yesterday with members of loca writing groups joining me. Be well, deal with the climate changes, and know spring is coming. My little seeds are sprouting, some in Kleenex filled plastic cups in my office :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Doll Museum: Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Shirley Temple: A Tribut...

Doll Museum: Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Shirley Temple: A Tribut...: Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Shirley Temple: A Tribute : We mourn today the loss of Shirley Temple, one of our all-time favorite actresses ...

Monday, February 10, 2014

To all my Readers, and some snippets; About.com Doll Collecting Guide

To all my dear friends and readers, please note that I am the new doll collecting guide for About.com; this does not mean I am abandoning you. On the contrary, I will keep up all my blogs as regularly as time allows. If I am a little slow while I get acclimated to About, which has its own blog, please do not give up on me. My blog readers are my second family, and my blogs my second home. As far as other topics, the current Readers Digest has many good articles on food for health and green living. This week's Radish talks about natural food cures and farms that hold country weddings. More on these later. I have started seeding plants and potting soil in my office where I am winterizing several plants; so far, there are some celery seeds coming up. I'll keep you posted. Our cat Miss Bangles has learned to turn on the electric keyboard, and to play easy listening music from its recording library. She is a cool cat indeed. Watch for more this spring, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Retro TV Memory Prompts

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Retro TV Memory Prompts: Here is an idea for writing a memoir using your favorite Retro TV shows. Stop and think; what were you doing the last time you saw "Th...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Of Superbowls, Pete Seeger, Wings, and Sundry Thoughts

Pete Seeger died this week. A loss to the music world, and to certain political affiliates, for sure. But, he was a loss to me. Two days before the anniversary of my mother's death, he left us, and is Joe Hill said on Twitter, he is now organizing the angels in heaven, the United Angels Untied. He followed me on Twitter on my Dr. E's Doll Museum account, and I was honored. Honored as a Twitter fan, as a musician, strictly amateur, as a former folk singer, as a lover of the whole folk era. I loved Peter, Paul and Mary and Puff the Magic Dragon because my youngest uncle, George, loved them. Puff was my anthem; all ridiculous rubbish on drug cultures aside. I will miss him,, and we at The Museum were honored. 50 years ago this Friday the Beatles invaded, and began a journey that has taken them through several generations and lifetimes of their own. I saw them when I was a toddler, with my Uncle George, on Ed Sullivan. He was a very young uncle, about 19, but I shared his interests, and became a very old soul. I was way past Itsy Bitsy Spider at age 5, my thing was Petula Clark, and PPM, and at age six, Johnny Cash and Folsom Prison Blues. It is of course, Super Bowl Sunday. It was an institution to watch when I was a bout 10. My mom would iron in the back of the living room, watching TV, or, 'the little balls' as she called it. Her brother Tom, and artist, and my dad, watched the game intently. We didn't have sbowl parties like today. We had a little popcorn, snacks and cheese and crackers, and coke and Shasta Colas, no beer or alcohol. No one painted faces or wore jerseys. We were all young, and tired from work and school, and glad to be together. I read books and watch, and got into the Miami Dolphins one year, or made dolls and crafts. We weren't the Waltons or the Huxtables, but we were happy, in a nice setting, during winter that didn't seem so bad or so cold as it does now. In 1986, the Challenger Disaster no. 1 hit the day after the Sbowl. The Bears had won the day before, and Walter Payton doing The Super Bowl Shuffle was hot. It was a mind numbing, tragic week, brought home now more than over. A friend and colleague was in the Coast Guard recovery after Challenger crashed. It is a small world, and we are connected in ways we don't know. My mother used to make Buffalo wings, but not on sbowl Sunday. They were popular when I was in school, so she would fry wings and pack them with all the accoutrements, and bring them when they visited me. My friends and I feasted for days. It was better than nay holiday to a group of poor hungry lit students who were destined to become poor hungry lit teachers. The cold is relentless, and the snow, and it is hard to pull on boots and drag one's self out. It is bad asthma/sinus weather, and house pets are restless. Not even dogs want to go out. Currier and Ives, or even Thomas Kinkade, it isn't. My kittens take it well. One brought me his little box of catnip, and dropped it on my pillow to wake me up. I'm not sure if it was a gift, request to open it, or an invitation to partake together. More writing, housework, light, my pulled shoulder muscle is death to deal with. Tonight, Chinese New Year, a tradition with the Chinese American Society. We survived with parental health scares, work confusion, bitter cold, and general sadness, along with self-imposed pecuniary last week. May this week be better for all, and may The Groundhog not see his shadow!